Need Backyard Design on Serious Budget
We moved into our house about one year ago. We live in the Inland Northwest, so water is an issue here. We do have an in-ground sprinkler system, but I'm not sure how effective it is and the water gets expensive. On top of this, we have two little children and my husband is a police officer, so in terms of budget, we're tight. I'm selling items on Craigslist to build up a budget for the backyard and I don't mind taking it a year at a time. But, as you can see from these pictures, we're getting desperate and I'd like to at least have a workable, green lawn for the kids next summer. After that we can build a little each year.
The weeds were so bad, we've Applied two doses of Round-Up to the grass and are starting over. So, all we have is ivy/grapes on the west fence, possibly a cherry tree in the northwest corner and three roses along the back.
So, here's where I need your help. I want to design an English Cottage Garden. I'd prefer a patio, but a deck is all we have right now. I love hydrangeas, alliums, boxwoods, lavender etc. Being a completely enclosed backyard, I think it would be lovely to have a Secret Garden/Walled Garden feel to it. I would also love another shade tree that has beautiful fall foliage, a vegetable garden area, a sensorial area and a path or two.
Please give any and all input with your design thoughts. I'm a newbie at design and gardening in general, but love it! Thanks so much in advance for your help.
This will obviously have to be done in stages. Your thoughts on that would be greatly appreciated.